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Work of the Holy Spirit
In order to understand salvation crystal-clear you must understand the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. Look at John 16:4. Jesus speaks there and says these words:
"But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go My way to Him that sent Me; and none of you asketh Me, "Whither goest thou?" But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you." (John 16:4-7 KJV)
For every one of us who've been washed in the blood of Jesus, the Holy Spirit is our Comforter. But look at verse 8:
"And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." (John 16:8 KJV)
Do you see that the responsibility of the Holy Spirit of God is to convict your heart of your sin and of the judgment to come? That is His responsibility. if you've been truly born again, you can testify that before you came to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God wrought a work of conviction in your heart. You ought to be able to testify to that.
Dragging you to Jesus
If a man, woman, or child is not brought to a conviction by the Holy Spirit, that individual is not a candidate at that time for salvation. Here's why I say that: In the book of John, Jesus said, "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him" (John 6:44). Do you realize that if you're not saved the only way you can be saved is if the Spirit of the Living God settles upon your heart, bringing conviction of your sin, and drawing you to Jesus Christ? That's my prayer for you. I pray that the Holy Spirit would draw you to Jesus today.
I'd like you to notice something interesting. In studying John 6:44 that word draw is translated thus from the Greek word e(Iku/sh) (helkuo) which literally means the Father "attracts him" or "pulls him." The word is used of pulling or dragging, often by force. It is even used once of magnetic attraction (A. Oepke, TDNT 2.503). No man can come to Me, except the Father, which has sent Me, drag him. In reality the Spirit of the Living God is trying to drag you to Jesus.
In John 21 Jesus was sitting on the shore and He was preparing a meal for the disciples. Peter was coming to the shore and the Bible says he had a "multitude of fishes" (John 21:6) and it says that he "drew the net to land full of great fishes" (John 21:11). He was dragging them to the shore. That's the word helkuo, dragging them to the shore. That's what the Spirit of God needs to do to us: drag us to Jesus. The Bible says all we like sheep have gone astray.
Running from God
We are running from God from the womb. In Genesis 3 the Bible says, "Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God" (Genesis 3:8). Do you realize that as sinners we are running from God? It's the natural reaction of all sinful mankind to run from God. Apart from the convicting work of the Spirit of God we would have no chance of salvation.
The Bible says in Romans 3, "there is none that seeketh after God" (Romans 3:11). if man were left to his own, man would never seek after God. Do you realize that if there was no convicting work of the Spirit of God there would not be a single person saved because man would never seek God on his own? Jesus said no man can come to Me, except the Father who has sent Me draw him. I praise God for the sweet convicting presence of the Holy Spirit. We are truly saved by the grace of God.
Resisting the Holy Spirit
Let me also warn you: God's Spirit will not always seek to drag you to Jesus. The Bible says in Genesis 6, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man" (Genesis 6:3). The Spirit of God may be striving upon your heart. I'd like you to know that the Bible says My Spirit shall not always strive with man to drag him to Jesus.
Aaron Burr was convicted of treason against the United States. His granddaughter tells an interesting story: One day she was at a meeting. She was converted to Jesus. She came home and she went to talk to her grandfather, Aaron Burr. She said to him, "Grandpa, wouldn't you like to be saved and become a Christian?" Aaron Burr looked down at her and he said to her, "Sweetheart, many years ago I was sitting in a revival meeting and I felt the Spirit of God striving against my heart. After that meeting I went outside the building and I looked up to Heaven. I said, ‘God,' and I meant it with all my heart, ‘If you will leave me alone, God, I will leave You alone." And Aaron Burr said this to his granddaughter, "Sweetheart, I kept my part of the deal and God has kept His."
Do you ever wonder why the Lord Jesus looked at the Pharisees who had just blasphemed the Spirit of God and said, 'Men, you don ‘t know what you're doing' because "he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation" (Mark 3:29)? Do you realize what Jesus was saying to them? He was saying to them, ‘You're only chance of salvation is the Holy Spirit and His conviction and His dragging you to Me. You are cutting off the only lifeline that you have to salvation.' Oh, we need to be careful with the sweet Spirit of the living God. Likewise, Christians should be careful not to strive against their Maker.
After Stephen preached a sermon in Acts 7 he looked upon those who were striving against God and he said, "Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:51). I wonder if it could be said that you are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and that you do always resist the Holy Spirit?
How long does the Holy Spirit have to struggle against you? How long does the Holy Spirit have to try to drag you to Jesus? Don't resist the Holy Spirit. if you feel the Holy Spirit convicting your heart, don't resist it. Break your heart underneath it. Underneath the load, break your heart. Every one of us is a sinner. Every one of us, without Christ, is on our way to eternal damnation. Maybe God's Spirit is striving with you to bring you to Jesus Christ. You sit there right now and you say, "Yes, I feel the conviction of the Spirit of God upon my heart. I feel it right now. What must I do to be saved?
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Liberty To The Captives Established in June 2001